A Kiwi Versus Rate: Kimbra | Ladyhawke | Broods | The Naked And Famous | Bic Runga [#20] | Page 11 | The Popjustice Forum

A Kiwi Versus Rate: Kimbra | Ladyhawke | Broods | The Naked And Famous | Bic Runga [#20]

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Phonetics Girl, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. LOL at me thinking this would be smooth sailing once I've settled into my real life job. Now I'm looking at some increased responsibilities, new antidepressants, and a trip this weekend. I need a quick break but I'll be back soon with more eliminations. Never doing another proper rate, though!
  2. It seems like alot of rate hosts are saying "I'm never doing another one" lately. This makes me sad.
  3. I'm sad too but my outlook has gotten negative on pretty much everything, so that's a decision I had to make for the foreseeable future.

    While I'm taking this weekend off, here's some new music from all three main artists of the rate:

    (features Broods, joan, and Bohnes)

    Bonus #1 Album:

    Plenty to digest and so little time, ah!
  4. Excited to be back with more results!
    However, I don't exactly have sixty more days to finish this, so I'll try to post a double whenever possible x

    60. Silent Treatment 7.825

    Highest: 10x1: я | 9.5x1: @Music Is Death
    Lowest: 6x1: @soratami | 6.5x2: @klow @Remorque

    written by/Kimbra Johnson, Steph Brown and Fen Ikner
    produced by/Lips
    available on/Daffodils (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    "Silent Treatment" is the single promoting Kimbra's first movie role in the 2019 musical Daffodils, the description of which I'm quoting below:
    "Leaving her dying father's bedside, singer Maisie (Kimbra) rushes to perform at an indie music gig in town. But as she sings the opening song, it is hard for her to ignore the heartfelt story she has just been told – the story of how her dad met and fell in love with her mother, and how it all devastatingly fell apart. As the night goes on, the love story of her father, Eric (George Mason), and her mother, Rose (Rose McIver), is shown through Maisie's eyes. From the time they meet in Hamilton in 1966, to their separation in the 1980s, we follow the bittersweet nuances of a couple's life, expressed with contemporary re-imaginings of well-known New Zealand songs of artists such as Crowded House, Bic Runga and Dave Dobbyn."

    I checked and it's Rose McIver who does "Drive". I do not think she has the range. Anyway, this a case of me not knowing why a gave a song that particular score. It's not even that I was emotional after witnessing Kimbra's first foray into acting cause I never got around to seeking out this film. I am glad I gave it a 10, though, cause otherwise it wouldn't have one and I feel, in an abstract way, that it was deserving? Idk, sorry I'm not making sense but I saved it for the other elimination of the day.


    7 - I like the embedded late 90s alternative running through this and the buildup is kind of killer too. Is the payoff that dynamic though? I say it's alright and nothing more, but could be in the minority.

    9 - Really enjoyed the instrumental subtleties here!

    A song we could have rated:

    59. Settle Down 7.8713

    Highest: 10x2: @berserkboi @Music Is Death | 9.5x2: me + @DJHazey
    Lowest: 5x1: @soraDUHmi | 6x1: @Epic Chocolat

    written by/Kimbra Johnson and François Tétaz
    produced by/François Tétaz and M-Phazes
    available on/Vows
    #37 NZ

    Kimbra said:
    "It was actually a bit of an experiment. I actually borrowed an 8-track recorder from a high school music room. And it has these big faders on it, knobs that you could push up and down for each track you recorded your voice and I was fascinated with layering my voice doing a little sort of barber shop type a cappella songs. So it was all down to the voice, beat-boxing on it. But it was more of an experiment just to try out this piece of gear. And I played it to the producer who worked on my first album "Vows," and he just thought “wow, there is something to this.” Something that started as a bit of a joke became a profound message about a woman who has these desires to have a very stable, normal life. But I also wanted to challenge that idea for a woman, you know, this idea of perfection of getting married. Is that necessarily healthy for us? You know, I wanted to just play with that idea."

    The second - though, I could be forgiven a mistake since there's been so many Kimbra cuts - song ousted from the debut Vows is its lead single "Settle Down". It is arguably a corner stone in Kimbra's career - probably the song (along with "Cameo Lover" but we'll get to that) people would have been checking out on the back of "Somebody That I Used To Know" to see what she's all about. I know that was the case for me and what I saw was unconventionality ramped up to 11. Kimbra was this leftfield, art pop type of thing that I was used to eating up. I remember wondering why a "Prescott Jones" in particular? Then, finding out I've been mishearing and it's an even weirder name: "Nebraska Jones". I still don't know why but at least the second name she drops is an actual reference: Angela Vickers is a character from A Place in the Sun/An American Tragedy played by Elizabeth Taylor; she represents a wealthy socialite whose only job is to steal poor Kimbra's man. Now, I haven't seen the movie but I was paying attention to pathology-filled book synopses during American Literature classes and I know enough to be aware the guy ends up killing his pregnant girlfriend to be with the rich partner.

    Suddenly things got dark like, say, eliminating "Settle Down" at fucking 59. Good grief!

    9.5 - The “Star so light and star so bright” section is the highlight for me, since it reminds me of Natasha Bedingfield for some reason, so I instantly felt welcome.

    PG note: Damn me for already having used the Natasha-written "Black Sky" in another Spotlight!

    10 - Definitely should end up the Quirkiest track here! Kimbra manages to impress when this could easily go Pas Pour Moi!

    8 - The video is forever ingrained in my mind! Whether for good or bad… let's just leave it at that.

    A song we could have rated:

    Hint for tomorrow:
    be careful what you wish for x
  5. The way we're doing poor Kimbra so dirty! For Christ's sake, Settle Down is Top 20 material at the very least! Kimbra has a certain...yearning in her vocal for the lack of a better descriptor that she can do that is so craveable to my ears and makes me feel the emotion of it more. Then the part I mentioned in the comment is off the charts in its angelic-nature.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  6. Preach it!!! As I forgot to mention, the voters were fairly polarised on this one - 1/3 scored Settle Down below 7 which was apparently enough to offset another third's 9.5+ ratings.
    soratami, berserkboi and DJHazey like this.
  7. [​IMG]
    58. Never Gonna Change 7.8875

    Highest: 10x1: @berserkboi @Music Is Death | 9.1x1: @Untouchable Ace
    Lowest: 6x2: @DJHazey @klow | 7x1: @Cutlery

    written by/Caleb Nott, Georgia Nott, Joel Little
    produced by/Joel Little
    available on/BROODS EP/Evergreen
    #40 NZ

    You're pushing down on my shoulders and emptying my lungs

    Georgia wrote:
    "This was about when I got broken up with, but now I’m married to him so we’re fine. We broke up. I was feeling down at work one day and I felt so shit. When you feel like you have a literal weight on your shoulders and it feels physically heavy when you have something heavy on your mind. When you feel like shit, you feel a lot older in life. It makes you feel not that innocent."

    And it's never gonna feel like it's done
    'Cause it's never gonna change
    Never gonna change
    Never gonna change
    Never gonna change

    Georgia wrote:
    "You feel like you had found your person and you feel like you’re never going to be over it. Luckily for me, it all turned out fine and it turned out he was the one. When you’re with somebody you’re so sure about and all of a sudden they’re gone it really hits you like a ton of bricks and it confuses you. It’s the most bizarre feeling. It was the strangest feeling."

    Broods' second single first released on their debut EP and later included on Evergreen. Is it good? Of course, yes, I gave it an 8. But does that mean it's also memorable? Not so much. It's just not giving me any inspiration to write about.
    6 - I hate to say it, but this is in the same ballpark as "Bridges" for me with a little added 'moodiness' to set it apart, ever so slightly.

    10 - A superb discovery!

    7 - I appreciate the lightly hip-hop leaning elements of the production, but somehow with a song of this style, I feel like lyrically it doesn’t hit, nor does the vocal performance really move me. I want to love it, but… as it is, it stands a little too lowkey.

    A song we could have rated:

    Soon: another meltdown from me, why not.
    Filippa, Crisp X, soratami and 6 others like this.
  8. WTF? This is not what I meant, and I should indeed be careful what I wish for!

    Can we get rid of my 3 next? No way to twist that wish Phonetics Genie! Dddd
  9. Yeah losing songs like this that are...well they're not really too inspiring or memorable, after losing alot of songs that are...it's disappointing to say the least.
    berserkboi and Phonetics Girl like this.
  10. I know I'm a week late but I hope you're all ashamed for this.
  11. Also kind of surprised Settle Down ranked below Top of the World and 90s Music? The voters are like... quirky
  12. Too Proud would have definitely gotten 10 points from me. What a lovely hymn-like song!
    berserkboi and Phonetics Girl like this.
  13. Bridges
    I Kill Giants

    would make for a nice little Broods/TNAF mini-cull.
    Phonetics Girl likes this.
  14. [​IMG]
    57. Version Of Me (with Dawn Richard) 7.9426

    Highest: 10x3: me @klow @berserkboi | 9.5x2: @Cutlery @Music Is Death
    Lowest: 4x1: @Epic Chocolat | 5.3x1: @Untouchable Ace

    written by/Kimbra Johnson, Ethan Gruska and Tony Berg
    produced by/Kimbra Johnson, Tony Berg and Dawn Richard
    available on/Primal Heart

    Kimbra said:
    "I kind of wrote that song to get me through a hard day and explores tentative hopelessness of feeling like you’re repeating your mistakes and kind of finding yourself in a cycle of doing or being the same person over and over again. It’s a prayer of some sort to break free of cycles which I think is a micro issue for humans but also a macro issue, like look at the world, look at our government."

    Here's a whole interview with both Dawn and Kimbra from papermag.com cause I think it's a moment:

    How did you know you wanted to work together on this project? How did you decide on this one?

    DAWN: Kimbra hit me up and sent her album to me early. It was an honor because I've always appreciated her art, and "Version on Me" just stuck out immediately The honesty and vulnerability was infectious. I thought it would be amazing if we could intertwine vocally and tell our story from different perspectives at the same time.

    Kimbra: I've been a fan of Dawn's work from afar and we'd talked about collaborating in the past but timing hasn't worked. When I finished Primal Heart, I sent it to her and invited her to rework a song through her lens if anything sparked. I think it was virtually the next day she sent back a new imagination with her voice interwoven with mine & the song set against a backdrop of dark mysterious synths. I heard the song in a whole new way. She had connected with the lyric in such a truthful way and shifted the song from an internal wrestling to a dialogue between two women searching for self-acceptance. I asked if I could add drum programming to it, and before long we had hit a momentum with the project and decided it needed a special visual moment to partner with the song. Micaiah [Carter] was the perfect person; he captures such tenderness and rawness in his images. He wanted to take the idea further and also shoot a moving film to accompany.

    The video is a powerful statement about ownership, something both of you have spoken to in interviews and in your art, visually and musically. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, how does this message further influence your work as artists and as women?

    Kimbra: It's about being seen and acknowledging the struggle we all go through in trying to find ourselves and wrestle with our mistakes and the various versions of who we are. Ownership is a key observation, and this statement is owning a glimpse into the woman's journey which is scattered with self-doubt, but also an incredible strength, bravery and fellowship. The more we are seen for who we are, and not just who we are assumed to be, the closer we come to gender equality and empathy.

    DAWN: I've been mistreated by men in power so often in my career that I've learned to push on without stating the effects of it. It almost feels like I'm stronger if I just don't acknowledge it. But the more I see women speak openly about their experiences, the more comfortable I feel to speak on mine. I want my art to always be honest and visual. It took me a long time to be this comfortable in my own skin. I went through a lot of insecurities and changes and finally decided to say "fuck it, I'm enough." I want to encourage other women to see they are enough, too.

    It's even more powerful to have this video be of two women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. How do you feel we can continue to break barriers of race through art moving forward?

    DAWN: We have a lot of work to do. There is change happening, but being a Black artist that explores other genres, you realize what an anomaly you are. You're immediately classified because of the way you look rather than the art you make. When you don't have a label, it can be ten times harder to be understood. I'd love to start more all-women festivals with diverse line ups. We need to see more women of color in executive positions in music from publishing to producers to labels. I also think establishments like Billboard and the GRAMMYS need to highlight artists of color in other genres who are emerging and up and coming. It would be a great to see people of color win awards and be recognized in other genres as well.

    Kimbra: We just need to see more, more, more diversity, as always, in the fields of influence. We need to keep opening and supporting opportunities for thought-provoking art and daring artists of all backgrounds and races to have their story told and be heard and seen and represented. The path to accepting oneself is recognizing yourself in others, and art is where so many people draw their identity from, so we must insist that the platform is representing our world and the range of human stories within it.

    I Lied.mp3
    The work took over my entire capacity for meltdowns, so this will be quick.

    The second casualty from Primal Heart is its fourth single (though I seem to recall the duet with Dawn coming out later in the era?). While the album version is very stripped down and low-key, the re-recording with Dawn's contribution transforms it into a shimmering piece of soul. It's such an upgrade to me!

    "Version Of Me" boasts the highest number of 10s awarded at this point in the rate. Though more than half of the voters scored it a 9 or higher, there were some major detractors who prevented it from doing as well as it should. What else can I say? We have some lovely commentary for this one!

    9 - The 'aquatic' opening instantly sends me to a place of loneliness that I know is messed up to say I feel comfortable in yet sadly it is reality - though this is a welcomed state of relaxation. The heartfelt, powerful vocals from these two are transcendent as well.

    10 - Quote stunning I must admit!

    9.5 - This was a new discovery for me, and from the get-go, the single string got me a bit emotional because it felt like I was about to hear a recording of a live performance of AltPG: Coven winner ‘cellophane’, of which there are many instances in YouTube and each one is as beautiful as the one before it. Anyway, this song is so sparse but very hopeful and bare and I love that it’s mostly both of them singing together, holding each other’s head up high. It feels like the final song of the movie type of track, whether choosing to see it as giving closure or leaving an open ending. Two indie icons, really!

    A song we could have rated:

    Tomorrow: I hope it never comes.

    jk, I just lack inspiration for a hint
  15. Instead we lose yet another fantastic Kimbra track, my patience for this is wearing thin dd.

    Loved reading the interview, because it has substantial meaning behind it and all you can do it nod in agreement to everything they say.
    berserkboi and Phonetics Girl like this.
  16. [​IMG]
    56. Laid Low 7.9666

    Highest: 10x1: @Remorque | 9.5x2: @BubblegumBoy @Music Is Death
    Lowest: 6.5x2: @klow @Cutlery | 7x2: Ja i @soratami

    written by/Thom Powers, Alisa Xayalith and Aaron Short
    produced by/Thom Powers and Aaron Short
    available on/Simple Forms

    Alisa said:
    "I got really ill towards the end of the recording process. I was so stressed out that my body was just freaking out. And we had this one song to finish called ‘Laid Low’ and we were recording my vocals and I had terrible sinuses and everything just sounded awful. And that in itself was put a lot of pressure on me, because it was all riding on me to get the song done. And I ended up having to go to the doctor and get all this medicine and antibiotics and nose strips. That day when I was recording vocals for the song was hilarious. Thom would stop me midway through a take and he would go ‘Alisa, could you try moving that nose strip further up your nose or down to see if it would make a difference in the resonant tone that’s coming out of you.’ It was pretty funny, but I was so determined to get that vocal take and I’m really, really happy we did."

    Thirteen spots since their last cut, we're parting with "Laid Low", the second single from their third record, Simple Forms. I have to admit that it's another song that doesn't inspire me much. Like, it almost gets there but ultimately falls short with the way the chorus just peters out. That's a shame, considering "Laid Low" has all the ingredients that normally would make me love a song.
    7.5 - Okay coming out of the name I was trying to think of in the last song, like a slightly lower toned Lauren from CHVRCHES, maybe. At least that's what I am hearing even more this time, even if the song isn't nearly as good this time.

    9 - Love the production!

    6.5 - Forgettable but thankfully the final minute pushes it out of that territory. The chorus is still weak though.

    A song we could have rated:

    If I feel up to it, I'll post another double tomorrow.
    I can only say the next elimination feels like a big one.
  17. Yes, as my commentary hints, please leave "Higher" alone for the foreseeable future! A non-Kimbra/Bic elimination is a welcomed change.
  18. The way we are almost on the 8 average and not even in the top 50. The talent in this rate.

    Also, I see you doing The Naked and Famous dirty and I'm taking names...
  19. Again?

    55. 90s Music 7.9833

    Highest: 9.5x2: @Music Is Death & I | 9x2: @Crisp X @berserkboi
    Lowest: 5x1: @klow | 6x1: @Epic Chocolat

    written by/Kimbra Johnson, Mark Foster, Timon Martin, Stephen McQuinn and Matt Morris
    produced by/Kimbra Johnson, Rich Costey, Major Dudes
    available on/The Golden Echo
    charts/#6 NZ Artists Singles Chart

    Kimbra said:
    “90s Music is an interesting song because it’s actually the last track that was added to The Golden Echo. I wrote it with my band out in Australia. [...] I just wanted it to feel youthful and fun and like these kind of gangs of kids that were all… you know, you had that spirit when you were young, limitless energy and the common thing was that you all listened to the music together, and I love that. Sonically, it was kinda a bit of a mish-mash and I wasn’t sure if it was gonna make it on the album cause it felt a bit like a joke song. One day my guitarist and my drummer send through the song to me and they’d done a bunch of work on it [...] and all of a sudden the song just made sense in a new way and I felt we had to work on this. It feels like it sits in a different space than everything on the record. So, it was at that point I started to develop the track and halfway through the recording process Rich Costey, who co-produced the song with me decided to send it to Matt Bellamy cause they worked together a lot on Muse albums [...] He loved the song and sent his idea straight back the next day and it kinda changed the course in the direction of this song. All of a sudden I felt this new sense of aggression to it and this kind of collage of worlds. I also sent it to my friend Mark Foster from Foster The People and he was like “I have an idea too!” [...] He came in and helped me out with “the lift” halfway through the song that comes in. I feel like it’s one of the most playful tracks on the record, one that really embraces the spirit of experimentation and nostalgia but, in a way when memories come back to you in a kind of fragmented state of mind so they don’t come back the exact same way that you first heard them. [...] It’s kind of like this psychedelic recollection of a time you had in your youth and I’m really proud of how it turned out and how fun the track is.”

    So there we have it. The Golden Echo is the first album to be left with just one song. Obviously something has gone wrong here. As the lead single, "90s Music" was a serious departure from the Vows era and it took me quite a while to really get it. Though it's not an ultimate favourite, I cannot not appreciate the sheer inventiveness that went into it. Only one small bugbear here: I wouldn't advertise listening to R.Kelly. Neither in the 90s or ever.

    7.5 - Even though it’s far from my favorite song in this rate, with the video’s assistance, I’m thinking it would’ve been a great theme song for my Women of the 90s rate.

    9 - Weird Nelly Furtado/Missy Elliott hybrid!

    8.5 - A racket through and through! Björk knows I love me a little of that once in a while. The Golden Echo was what made me listen to Kimbra after her monster global hit, and at first I was puzzled about what the hell this was. Now I still don't know what it's supposed to be sounding like, but 90s Music is the chaotic energy I sometimes need to channel.

    A song we could have rated:

    54. Two Way Street 7.9875

    Highest: 10x1: standing here lonely again | 9.5x1: @Music Is Death
    Lowest: 6x1: @soraDUHmi | 6.6x1: @Untouchable Ace

    written by/Kimbra Johnson and François Tétaz
    produced by/Kimbra Johnson and François Tétaz
    available on/Vows
    #6 NZ Artists Singles Chart

    Kimbra on her beginnings:
    "To give you a picture, I finished high school and was offered a management deal that was a bit like a record deal, because they would give me the finance to actually record an album. I was offered that fresh out of high school and I moved straight to Australia as a 17-year-old, and I didn’t know anyone.

    I moved into a one bedroom apartment and was very lucky to have a portable set-up — a computer and software to work on, and I just started making an album. And of course that sounds like a dream, and it was, but it’s also a massive change, right? To go from high school to suddenly just being in a country where you don’t know anyone and making an album.

    I started writing a lot and learning how to produce music. And I had amazing support network in terms people who believed in me. But I think there was a lot of impatience — I wanted to create something quickly, but I had to of course go through the motions of finding a producer, which was François Tétaz. He really challenged me; he really made me write, and write, and write for a good couple of years before I really started to actually cement anything.

    So it was quite intense to have just one thing that I was working on for that period of time while all my other friends were at university. I do remember wanting to just release music because I was over there, I was ready, I was gigging. I had people around me really encouraging me to wait and be patient, find my style, find my voice. It was very frustrating for a 17-year-old or an 18-year-old who’s just ready to go for it. But looking back now, I’m highly grateful that I did take that time. Because once things start going, man, they don’t stop.

    But there were a lot of hard moments. I had to make friends from scratch; I didn’t know many people. And, you know, all the same things as when you or anyone was 17. You’re figuring out who you are. But for me, I was in a new country and had the pressure of trying to come up with an album. I was like super nervous that maybe I wouldn’t be able to achieve that goal.

    But I wouldn’t take any of it back. It was a pretty incredible opportunity that a lot of kids dream of."

    There's been alotta reading already, so I'll keep it short. "Two Way Street" is the fifth single off Vows, relased a week after the album's deluxe edition, even though it's already been out for a year on the standard. So like...questionmarkguy.gif. Whatever, I guess. I've grown to love the song for its elegant, timeless vibe and those chiming(?) sounds running through it. Below I embedded "Old Flame", the track you can hear "Two Way Street" fading into at the end. They make for an engaging little suite.
    7 - “And there’s no conspiiiracy…'' delivers what has become her signature vocal hook to me, just without the force of nature a lot of her songs tend to have.

    9 - Giving me @Oleander early 00s submissions realness!

    8 - I've grown fond of the romantic lens in the track and the chorus especially. And that somber instrumental break is a bit underrated.

    A song we could have rated:

    I have a little announcement/update. I got my resposibilities at work extended today and that's much faster than I ever expected while planning this rate. I don't know how it's going to affect things yet, naturally I'm panicking over all the workload involved for now. I'll still try to run the rate as usual but I can't be sure of how that'll go, so no more hints, at least for now. I won't be making any plans, just post whenever and however many eliminations I feel up to, hopefully every day.
    Thanks x

  20. Good grief, can we stop this. I know I only gave them a 7.5 and 7 respectively but it doesn't diminish that fact that Kimbra didn't deserve this, not by a long shot! I love reading her personal thoughts and recollections on these songs. 90's Music was a puzzling listen at first and I eventually wrapped my head around it enough to give the score I did. However, since the rate, I went through her albums track-by-track and found 90's Music just wasn't standing out as much as previously thought, it might just be a 6.5/7 if you asked me today. In contrast, Two Way Street really became massive during my full album plays and my 7 is far from what I'd give it today.
    Phonetics Girl and berserkboi like this.
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